Tag Archives: nutritional yeast

Turkish-Inspired Sweet and Savory Tofu

5 May Slice of Dish
First Slice

First slice wasn’t pretty, but it was still delicious.

So I’ve been MIA. Down a rabbit hole. Out of the kitchen and out of commission.

This week, however, I’m on the upswing. Feeling lighter and bouncier and frickin’ hungry! I’m on a mission to resume my vegan ways. I wanted something delectable. Something to make me lick my lips and my fingertips. I wanted sweet AND savory (why has this become a constant dilemma of mine?).

I wanted baklava. But with meat. And not baklava.

This time around, I had no recipes, no input, just memories. I remember a particular date, circa 2003 or so, Chicago, IL. This little spot in Wrigleyville, I believe it was. I just remember how delicious the food was. It had traces of cinnamon and earth. DELICIOUS! And that is what I wanted in my mouth. Cinnamon also happened to be the item for our weekly food challenge this week. So win/win for everyone.

I had originally planned to wrap the phyllo dough or mold it into cups, but when it came down to it, layered just worked better. No complaints when it was in my mouth neither. Don’t let the long list of ingredients fool you. This dish is heavily spiced and rather simple to make. Unless you make your own dough, but I wouldn’t dare.

Just some of the ingredients

Just a few of the ingredients…

What I Used
1 small sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 small knob of ginger, sliced
3 cinnamon sticks

1 container of extra firm tofu
1 1/2 cups of no-chicken broth
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
garlic, to taste
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
tbsp tamari
1/4 tsp Ethiopian spice
1 tsp lemongrass
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 roasted bell pepper
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup mediterranean apricots, chopped
1/4 cup coconut, finely shredded
salt, to taste
2 tbsp melted butter
20 sheets of phyllo dough
Dukkah (I used pre made from Trader Joe’s)

What I Did

First, do that whole drain and marinate thing with the tofu. i let it sit in the no chicken broth for about 30 minutes whole. Next time, I would mash it up and let it sit in the broth. While that is marinating, I put the potatoes, ginger and cinnamon sticks in a saucepan to cook. I didn’t let the potatoes get super cooked, just enough so they aren’t still hard.

Next, I sauteed the onions in oil until translucent and added a ton of garlic. Add the tofu, complete with the broth to the mix and let simmer for about 15 minutes. I then drained the potatoes, ginger and cinnamon sticks. I removed the cinnamon, but added the potatoes and ginger to the tofu along with the nutritional yeast, tamari and all of the spices. By leaving the ginger in slices, you’ll get nice gingery bursts throughout the dish. You can always minced or dice it if you’d prefer. Let that simmer until the liquid soaks up and the yeast fattens the mixture up a bit. Your potatoes will mush a bit. If you want them to remain firm, add them with the fruit at the end. This simmered in total around 40 minutes. No liquid, add the bell pepper, raisins, apricots and coconut.Simmer another 5-10 minutes, taste and salt.

The mixture

Next is the tricky part. Grab your 9X13 baking dish. I only had a 8X11 and my ends were upturned and crispy. Pretty, but a royal mess. Spray the bottom of your pan or oil it, your preference and layer the phyllo spraying after every sheet, just like you’re making baklava. After 10 sheets, layer the mixture until it’s even and covering the bottom. you don’t want too thick a layer, but the amount made should be just right. Finish by layering the remainder of the sheets, continuing to spray after each sheet. Once all the layers have been made, pour melted button on the top and sprinkle with Dukkah. If you don’t have anything that “fancy”, sesame seeds would also look really lovely as would additional coconut!

Bake for 45 minutes (or until browned) at 350 and voila. You’re done.

Upclose Pic of Dish

Finished Product

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Los Betos Slumming and the Pantry Cleanse

14 Apr Rice Bake

Rice Bake

Brown Rice Tofu Bake

I have a confession to make: I can’t remember the last time I had a real meal.

It seems that I have been subsisting on burritos and sandwiches and sushi. Oh, and coffee. Lots and lots of coffee. The kitchen has turned into Beruit, and I am no soldier.

What is going on?

Well, I’ll tell you… I’m stressed. And a little sad. And busy. The last thing I want to do when I’m any of those things is worry about what I put in my mouth. Though I suppose a more accurate statement is that I tend to desire things in my mouth that are utterly, horribly bad for me when I’m any of those things. Like the aforementioned burrito. Bummer.

I am constantly aware of my goals, though. I’ve got an abdominal muscle challenge going on, an impending half-marathon to train for and it’s almost summer, which signifies the upcoming birthday month and the rebirth of the bikini. I need to be prepared. If I’m honest with myself, none of that stuff really matters. The truth is, I just need to take better care of myself. I can’t be too down on myself though because I have been drinking at least a little water, something which is akin to pulling teeth for me, I’ve continued my running/yoga regime, and I’m just trying to stay aware.

This week, I’m making a concerted effort to turn things around. It starts tonight with this week’s food challenge thought up by my fantabulous friend over at a blog I mention often, Create.Snap.Eat. The premise is that we use what’s on hand to create a dish instead of going out and buying an ingredient. Whatever’s in the fridge/pantry/laying around on the kitchen floor. She mentions the waste our society undergoes, and it makes me want to cry. As a society we throw away at least 40% of the food in our kitchens, but I am probably somewhere closer to 80% here lately. Grrr. I want to do better. I need to do better.

So I went rummaging. And here’s what I came up with. Not only do I have a lunch meal for the next few days, I used up quite a few things in the house. And that feels good. Hooray. Here’s the info for my Brown Rice Tofu Bake

What I Used

tofu
1 container of Extra Firm tofu
1/4 cup Braggs
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp garlic, minced
2 cups veggie broth

2 cups water
1 cup nutritional yeast
1 stalks green onion
1 tbsp coconut oil
2 cups brown rice
1/2 cup coconut milk

What I Did

To begin, I drained the tofu and patted it dry. I didn’t weigh it because the extra water wasn’t going to hurt my rice which I figured would be short on liquid anyway. I sliced the tofu in half and then into strips and then into bite-sized pieces. Next I mixed up the marinade, the Braggs through the broth, and let that sit in a glass dish underneath foil for a half hour.

About half-way through, I preheated the oven to 350. To the marinading tofu, I added the nutritional yeast, green onion and rice. I boiled the water just slightly, added the coconut oil and then poured this over the heap of rice. Mixed it all up with a wooden spoon and pop in the oven. After an hour and 10 minutes (You may need to adjust cooking time. I would check every 30 minutes), I added the 1/2 cup of coconut milk and popped it back in the over for 15 minutes. The flavor in this dish is kinda awesome! I will be making this again for sure!

Spiced Popcorn and Date Night Revival

10 Apr

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Generally, I’m kind of a hard ass, but occassionally, I am really, really girly about things. Like dates. I love dates. A long time ago, I dated the master of dates: nice dinners at restaurants I’d been dying to check out, impromptu trips out of state, picnics in the park, all night dance parties. It was great. Recently, however, I’ve been a tad bit deprived. My best dates have been with my friends. Folks will look at me crazy when I say, “Yeah, I had a date with so and so.” “Aren’t you two friends?” “Um, yeah. So?”

LOL. Apparently, having dates with your friends is weird.

Whatever. Last night, I had a movie date with my best friend. We have a list of movies we adore or haven’t seen or need to see again. Last night was “Crazy, Stupid, Love”. It demanded popcorn. Yes, how original. Popcorn.

Well, I couldn’t find my popper, or my kernels for that matter, but what we did have was microwave popcorn and a chef’s kitchen worth of spices and such. So we had at it!

Popped the popcorn and then went to town with spices. Nutritional yeast (of course!), cayenne pepper, parmesan cheese, garlic salt and sweet paprika! One day, I’ll make this with air popped popcorn because it’s got to be just heavenly without all the excess gunk of buttered popcorn!

Still as it was, it was delicious! It took us three hours to get through our movie, some tears, giggle fits, potty breaks and heart to hearts. It’s exactly why I’ll always cherish my date nights with my buddies!